A guide to buying car insurance

Car insurance can seem very daunting at first but our guide has been designed to help you navigate the minefield that is car insurance.

Understanding car insurance

Three levels of cover

Did you know there are three levels of car insurance and each one will offer you a different level of protection in the event of damage or theft of your vehicle.

Third Party Insurance

Third Party insurance is the lowest level of insurance available and is the minimum level required by law.

Third party insurance normally covers you for

  • damage to someone elses vehicle or property
  • injury you may cause to others
  • injury to your passengers 

Remeber that Third Party insurance will not cover you for injury or your vehicle in the event that your car is stolen or damaged in an accident or a fire, you will not be covered and you’ll have to pay to replace it.

Being the lowest level of insurance offering the least protection, you might think this will always be the cheapest option but this isnt always the case.

Third Party Fire and Theft Insurance

This level of insurace covers everything a third party car insurance policy does, but with added protection against fire and theft. It’s useful if you’re looking for more than just the bare minimum of cover or if you live in an area that’s considered high risk for crime.

Third party, fire and theft insurance typically covers:

  • Damage to someone else’s car or property
  • Injury you may cause to others
  • Injury to your passengers during an accident
  • Fire damage - After paying any agreed compulsory and voluntary excess
  • Theft - After paying any agreed compulsory and voluntary excess

Like the previous option, third party fire and theft doesnt cover you for injury or your car in the event of an accident but you will be covered for fire and theft.

Fully Comprehensive

This is by far your best option to protect both yourself and your vehicle. Fully comprehensive car insurance offers the highest level of cover available. If you have a new or expensive car, or often travel with expensive tech or belongings in your car, this could be the type of policy for you.

Fully comprehensive insurance typically covers

  • Damage to someone else’s car or property
  • Injury you may cause to others
  • Injury to your passengers during an accident
  • Fire damage
  • Theft (and possibly damage caused by attempted theft)
  • Chipping/scratching
  • Malicious damage and vandalism
  • Accidental damage to your car

As with most claims you will have to pay the intial compulsery and voluntary excess unless claiming against someone elses policy.

With some fully comprehensive insurance policies you may have extras like courtesy car, windscreen cover and personal belongings but this isnt always the case so please check the small print of your policy paperwork.

Its also a common myth with fully comprehensive insurance that you will be covered to drive other peoples cars on a third party basis, but this isnt always the case and will depend on the individual policies. 

Young Drivers

Car insurance can seem very expensive when you are young and it can be tempting to take the cheapest option, always make sure you read the small print of any policy to know for sure what level of cover you will be getting as the cheapest or most expensive cover doesnt always mean your getting the best deal with the most cover.

Save Money on your car insurance

The biggest things that effect your insurance policy price are

  • Your age - Not a lot you can do about this one but as you get older your premium should come down.
  • Your driving experience - the more No Claims you have the cheaper your policy
  • The type of car you want to insure and the insurance group it comes under
  • Your post code - Where you live unfortunately can make a big difference to the price you pay
  • Your anual milage - The more you drive the higher the risk
  • Your occupation - Some jobs like driving for an example are seen as a higher risk so will increase the cost of your own policy
  • Adding other drivers to your policy can actually reduce the price you pay

Young drivers can save money by having a Black Box fitted to their vehicle, there are various companies our there offering Black Box Insurance for young drivers such as Marmalade and Collingwood.

The 50 insurance groups that are the basis for your insurance policy

Did you know that there are 50 different groups for your car that will effect the price of your insurance

What is a car insurance group?

Every private car in the UK is assessed and put into a 'Group' for car insurance purposes.

There are 50 different car insurance groups, with Group 1 usually being the cheapest to insure and Group 50 being the most expensive. Usually, cars in the higher groups are high performance models that are more expensive to repair.

The car insurance groups are set by the Group Rating Panel, which includes members of the Association of British Insurers and Lloyd's Market Association. Thatcham Research, the UK's automotive research centre, provides the Panel with most of the information they use to establish the insurance group for every type of private car registered in the UK.

Insurance companies use the group ratings system, together other information about your car, your personal details and driving history to work out the overall price of your car insurance.

You can checkout what group your car comes under here

Involved in a car accident?

Would you know what to do if you were involved in a road traffic accident, would you know what details you need to exchange or who who might need to call?

Read our guide here on what to do if you are unfortunately involved in an RTA

Car insurance guide